The Department of Higher Education (DHE) is partnering with the UMass Donahue Institute to evaluate impacts and outcomes associated with the STEM Starter Academy grant. The Donahue Institute will provide formative and summative feedback on program development and outcomes, as well as targeted technical assistance. The Donahue Institute will collect feedback from participants and administrators through surveys, interviews, select site visits, and concise structured reports. Baseline student performance data will also be collected and analyzed, to the extent feasible given time and resource limitations. Spring 2014 evaluation activities will focus on program description, student recruitment, and participation metrics. Future evaluation activities will build on these efforts, and will include metrics relevant to retention, program completion, and transfer/matriculation.
The evaluation will support DHE’s efforts to develop evidence-based best practices, to promote the use of best practices at participating institutions, and to disseminate information about these practices to the broader STEM community.